Hello, reader friends! Join me in welcoming author friend Lauren H. Brandenburg for a quick chat as part of a blog tour celebrating her new release, The Death of Mungo Blackwell!
about the author
Lauren H Brandenburg is an inspirational speaker, mentor, and author.
Her fourth book in The Books of the Gardener series, Orlo: The Created, was a 2017 finalist for the Selah Middle Grade Novel of the Year. As a former English teacher, she currently teaches creative writing in her home-school community and to young writers nationwide.
Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Georgetown College, is the president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, and an active participant with the writers of Realm Makers. She lives with her husband and two children in Nashville, Tennessee.
Share five favorites.
L: beverage – Mexican Hot Chocolate
television series – Parks and Recreation
magazine – Daphne’s Diary
character – Jo March of Little Women
fictional family – Rory & Lorelai Gilmore
B: Yes, please! I love Mexican hot chocolate AND Little Women!
What is your favorite activity or hobby not related to books?
L: Making macarons! I guess it is kind of related to books as I started making them as a bit of research for Mungo. Then the research turned into an obsession as I was determined to get the process right… I guess I was really getting into character. Now macaron making is a fun (and very tasty) hobby. They’re just so pretty!
B: I have never eaten a macron but I make a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies!
Share your inspiration behind The Death of Mungo Blackwell.
L: The initial inspiration for The Death of Mungo Blackwell actually came from a strange piece of family history about a distant relative who had his funeral before he died. I knew I didn’t want the book to solely be about that moment, so I made it a side story centering the main plot around a husband and wife who go through a massive financial loss—which is actually based on a bit of my own life story.
B: That is fascinating!
What did you learn or discover about yourself while writing The Death of Mungo Blackwell?
L: I love this question so much because I really did learn a lot about myself while writing Mungo. Not only did I learn that I can actually write a novel for adults (eight years of writing for middle graders made me wonder), I found a peace in storytelling, not just crafting a novel with plot and characterization, but really telling a tale. It’s why Mungo has such a quirky feel. It’s kind of like a collection of tall tales and a novel rolled up into one.
B: Wonderful! I’d hug you if you were in front of me right now!
What book(s) are you reading right now?
L: Oh my goodness! My TBR pile is ginormous! I’m currently reading Jane Eyre per my agent’s encouraging. I think it’s good for authors to return to the classics every now and then, just to see what has stood the test of time. I’m also reading Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons and The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. I usually have three books going at once—one for fun, one for my soul, and one for my writing.
B: I don’t trust people who don’t have ginormous tbr piles! I love your approach to tandem reading!
What is your next release and/or what are you working on now? I am currently tidying up my second novel for my publisher—Lion Hudson. It’s a stand-alone, however, it takes the reader back to the setting of The Death of Mungo Blackwell to the quirky little town of Coraloo. In Mungo you briefly meet the flea market’s cleaning lady, Innis Wilkinson, who wears a pair of old scissors around her neck at all times. The second book is partly her story – The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson. We’re looking to release it next fall.
B: How exciting! I’m looking forward to visiting Coraloo! Thank you so much for sharing with us, Lauren!
about the book
The Death of Mungo Blackwell by Lauren H Brandenburg
Charlie’s lost everything, but the legendary death of Mungo Blackwell will help him find himself…
The Blackwells are a family with an astounding history and traditions, which include holding their funerals before they die! Their ways are questionable and their stories about deceased relatives are as bold as their red hair, but it is their eclectic wares that keep tourists coming back to their market in the town of Coraloo.
Charlie Price, whose world has come crumbling down after a lapse in judgement leaves him unemployed, finds himself flung into the chaotic world of the Blackwells when he relocates to Coraoo with his socialite wife, Veleteen, and comic book-obsessed son, Gideon. Here Charlie attempts to make a living as a “picker”, reselling underpriced items he picks up at the market.
Some of the Blackwells welcome him with open arms and but others resent pickers and want him thrown out of the market. Charlie soon finds this new way of life under threat and his quest for simplicity seems to be crumbling. Perhaps it’s time for Charlie to have a funeral of his own…
Join our chat by sharing your thoughts in the comments!
Visit future tour stops to learn more about The Death of Mungo Blackwell by Lauren H Brandenburg!